Brad (364) - Berkley, Michigan, USA - MAY 25, 2005
2.5 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 4/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 10/20
Bottle: Pours a dark amber color, with an off white diminishing head. Aromas of caramel, bread, toastiness, dark grapes, and hops. Flavor was overwhelming for my palate after sampling several beers prior to this one. Overly syrupy and sugary sweet, maple syrup, slightly acidic and bitter, but enough to offset the thickness. Almost had to pour this one out, but I sucked it up and finished it.
Eyedrinkale (3213) - Astoria, New York, USA - MAY 25, 2005
2.6 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 2/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 11/20
22 oz bottle. After searchign out this stuff for a while, I finally get a bottle. Pours murky caramel with a small head. For a fresh bottle the hops fall out and its mostly candi sugars and caramel. Taste isn’t much different. There are some dried fruits and nuts as well. As much as I like aged barleywines, this stuff just doesn’t do it for me. Way too sweet for my liking.
TAR (2492) - Lafayette, Colorado, USA - MAY 20, 2005
4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 16/20
Clear plum. Thick dusty-white foam settles to a whipped ring of excellent density. Commanding aroma of grapefruit and bourbon soaked fruitcake. Vanillin, bready malts, and oak whispers. Gently carbonated and lushly soft. Frontal display of succulent hops succumb to a dryly oaky, tannic assault. The body remains chewy, however, with beefy malt flavors deflecting the full-on dryness. Sneaky hop-bitterness exaggerates the salty tannins and oak-laden dryness, while earthy-tinged tropical-fruit hop flavors lend more juiciness. Spicy accent of anise from the alcohol. Thickset blend of vanillin and cakey malts mask the sharp flash of alcohol and medicine. Finishes sweetly malty, flush with toffee drizzled fruitcake over a supple grapefruit bedding. Lasting hop bitterness and pungent oak continue to thwart the sappy sweetness long after the swallow. Flawlessly conditioned, refined oak profile, and skillfully extracted malt flavors. A mesmerizing dessert concoction that’ll only gain more decadence with age.
11026 (1772) - Alabama, USA - MAY 12, 2005
3.7 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bottle from Styles. Deep chestnut colored, not much head. Very malty aroma, with a fair hop balance. A touch of alcohol sneaks in the aroma. Medium bodied. Alcohol is fairly up front. A bit of leather and dark pit fruit in the nose. Malty and fairly well balanced with hops in flavor. Still a bit harsh and boozy. Age may serve this well.
Pailhead (4806) - Brownstown, Michigan, USA - MAY 11, 2005
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
Bottle: Courtesy of Styles. Vinuous, woody, whiskey and light alcohol in the aroma. Pours a deep hazy deep red. Malty, vinuous, and whiskey with a raisin and alcohol finish. Syruppy mouthfeel. Somewhat sweet overall. Alcohol presence increases in the flavor the more it warms.
BrockLanders (772) - Panama City, Florida, USA - MAY 1, 2005
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
UPDATED: FEB 23, 2006 Pours deep dark ruby reddish brown with very little head. Aroma is very sweet...lotsa brown sugar, toffee, molasses, caramel, raisins, some notes of oak, alcohol, etc. Taste is big on maltiness, brown sugar, caramel, molasses, dark fruits, raisins, hints of toffee, and mabye, just maybe some light hop bitterness. Full-bodied and smooth with a big alcohol kick....sticky and syrupy sweetness on the palate. Does get syrupy in parts. The finish doesn’t distinguish itself....somewhat bitter in the end, but you’ve got to search for it. Tasty.
BBB63 (6037) - La Porte, Indiana, USA - APR 20, 2005
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bomber served in a Duval Snifter: Very deep brown with crimson highlights, little head or lace, oily cling on glassware. The aroma has a extreme note of molasses, dates, and overripened apple up front. Additionally I detect basic carmel malts, earthy yeast esters, sea salt and a hint of oak. The taste starts malty sweet with a moderate fruit component and bourbon barrel notes. The finish is lightly spiced, a bit salty and some alcohol overtones, but not too overpowering. I feel is oily and yer crisp, moderate alcohol burn. Taste young yet I don’t think it would age too much has the malt sweetness is already quite powerful and it needs all the bitterness left in the bottle. A good offering from the land of the midnight sun.
hopdog (8933) - Lansdale, Pennsylvania, USA - APR 15, 2005
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Bottled date of November ’04. Poured a dark and cloudy brown color with a small off white head. Aromas of vanilla, dark fruits and wood. Tastes of vanilla, dark fruits, brown sugar, and molasses. Sweet. Light alcohol in the finish. Overall a very tasty Barley Wine.
egajdzis (5335) - Spring Mount, Pennsylvania, USA - APR 15, 2005
4.3 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Poured a murky brown color with a thin, quickly diminishing light tan head that left very light lacing on the glass. Aroma of caramel, vanilla, dark fruits, and citrus hoppiness. Very complex taste of vanilla, toffee, dried fruits, light roast, caramel malts, melons, apples, light hop bitterness, and a touch of alcohol. Thanks for sharing hopdog, I really liked this one!
3fourths (8020) - Boulder, Colorado, USA - APR 12, 2005
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
UPDATED: AUG 12, 2013 Hard Liver 2005
Draft version: This one was a personal highlight of the festival, as well the overall winner of the Hard Liver fest. Bursting alive with rich cherries, plums, nuts, and bubblegum hoppy sugary scents, the nose on this beer is magical. I think this is only time I’ve ever liked nuts and gum togethor. Overly sweet at times, and definitly full of hops with some sweet oak flavors, vinuous grape notes, stinging high alcohol, and a body which coats the mouth and warms you throughout. Prickly tree bark flavors, brown sugar and caramelized cherries. Really amazing... with such a big, robust nose full of barkdust and dark fruit, this one is very deserving of the festival win.